The day an 8 y.o. boy got to meet his “boyfriend,” actor Darren Criss

One of the most adorable stories ever by a mom named Amelia, writing over at the Huffington Post about how her 8 year old son finally got to meet his “boyfriend,” Darren Criss, aka “Blaine” on the TV show Glee.

Darren Criss is 26, and while he’s straight, he plays a gay character on Glee.  The boy has had a crush on Criss for two years now, since he was 6.

Darren Criss, from Glee. (Photo by Matt Smith>

Darren Criss, from Glee. (Photo by Matt Smith>

This story has so many feel-good angles to it.

First, how adorable that an eight year old boy has a crush on a 26 year old movie star.  And then gets to meet him.  And it’s everything he ever hoped for, and more.

Second, how wild that an eight year old – actually, make that 7 year old at the time – comes out to his parents as gay.

Third, how nice that a TV show helped the child come to terms with the fact that he was different, and it’s okay. The mom wrote a beautiful blog post about her son coming out to her, and how his crush on “Blaine” helped him understand that he was gay, rather than straight.

I was on the phone with a relative who had just discovered that I was blogging on The Huffington Post and openly discussing my son’s crush on Blaine. I was in another room alone (I thought), explaining, “We’re not saying he’s straight, and we’re not saying he’s gay. We’re saying we love who he is,” when my son’s voice piped up behind me.

“Yes, I am,” he said.

“Am what, baby?” I asked.

“Gay. I’m gay.”

My world paused for a moment, and I saw the “geez, Mom, didn’t you know that already?” look on my son’s face.

I got off the phone and leaned down to eye level with him and rubbed my nose against his. “I love you so much.”

“I know,” he said, and ran off to play with his brothers.

Fourth, how amazing that parents could be so accepting and loving as to not freak out when their seven-year-old son announces that he’s gay.

Well, Darren Criss is traveling around the country on a concert tour, and he was coming close enough to the boys’ hometown, that the parents decided to do a road trip to Chicago to see Darren Criss.  And because she had written about Criss on her HuffPost blog, his people heard about it, and arranged a meeting for the boy with Darren in Chicago.  In a different post, the mom writes about what happened next:

Eventually, the time did pass, and we were brought up to meet him. My kiddo was so nervous and anxious that he was practically jumping out of his skin. And then he was there, and my son met his first love. It was adorable. Darren Criss was charming and lovely, and my son was so shy but happy. As for their conversation, that’s not really mine to share. Maybe someday, when my kid is older, he’ll write about it, but until then, it remains as it should be: between him and Darren.

When it was my turn to talk, I found my normally sure-spoken self decidedly absent. What could I say to this young man who meant so much to my kid, this young man who, by playing a television character, had helped lead my son to tell me about his orientation and, by extension, helped change the trajectory of my own life toward activism? “Thank you” felt so insufficient, but it was all I had….

After the show, we made our way back to the hotel, and after an extensive discussion of which superhero is the fastest (The Flash won), we went to bed. My son gripped me into a fierce hug. “Mom,” he said to me, “meeting Darren Criss was all the trillions times better than a hotel with a pool.” I’ll take that as a “thank you.”

Do go read the rest of her post, it’s really wonderful.

So how’s that for a story to start your day?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • Susan

    I agree to every single word you wrote.

  • benb

    Hayley Mills in “The Moon Spinners” was the love of my life when I was around that age. It wasn’t till well after puberty that I realized what having a girlfriend in my life meant, physically, and that seemed like such a chore.

  • Abbie

    I’m tearing up. This story is so sweet and I am so happy that not only did this little boy have the courage to admit that he was gay but that his mother supports him and loves him just as much as she always has. Darren (although I’ve never met him.) seems like one of the sweetest celebrities on the planet. This is one of the reasons I love not only Darren but Glee. Both teach that is a person you fall in love with not a gender. Love is love and it shouldn’t be definded as gay or straight.

  • fritzrth

    That would have been a tragedy!

  • BlueIdaho

    Darren Criss is straight? I’m sorry but I need some proof. :)

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I felt that way about Tom Selleck, until I learned he was a right wing asshole. It almost turned me straight!

  • nicho

    Yes, but adult pleasures cost money.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I love what someone wrote on Facebook: “Wait a minute, Darren Criss is MY boyfriend”

  • jomicur

    As if adulthood doesn’t offer any pleasures.

  • Sweetie

    Rationality has positives and drawbacks. One of the drawbacks is that it erodes emotion. That’s also a positive, when it comes to harmful emotions.

  • nicho

    Now if someone could help me meet my boyfried, I’d be eternally grateful. (Just don’t tell my husband.)

    http://www.justjared.com/2013/06/10/jesse-metcalfe-shirtless-park-workout/

  • nicho

    Yes. I have a friend whose son decided he was gay at a young age. She was very supportive of him being himself. He went through middle school and high school identifying as gay. When he went to college, he developed an interest in women and just got married to a very nice person. I don’t know whether he self-identifies as bi — none of my business — but it just shows that people, especially as children, don’t fit neatly into the boxes people create for them.

    For my part, I knew I liked boys and men from the age of four and I’ve never wavered — even though I went through my pretend straight period in high school and college. I knew the game was up when I took a woman to dinner. We had been set up by friends. We had a nice meal and I dropped her off at her door with a chaste handshake. Then I went to a gay bar, ran into the guy who had been our waiter at dinner, and brought him home. That was the last time I pretended I was straight.

  • Cletus

    Secret from hetero world: at that age, and to the beginning of my teens, I had crushes of my own on a few guys, including close friends. Didn’t have a crisis over it at the time and my interests focused within time. The trick for the parents is to remain as fluid in their expectations of their child as he grows up as they are now. He’ll be fine, one way or the other.

  • dcinsider

    We have come a long way because people like you were open and honest about who you are. Because two generations of gay men and lesbians decided that life in the closet was not a life worth living. Because an entire generation faced down a plague and came through the other side. Because one man said to his parents, “I’m gay” at a time when that never happened. Because a woman finally told her family that her best friend wasn’t really a friend at all and stopped the lie. Because each and every day for forty plus years, one more person decided to live their life honestly. Because when we did, our parents joined together to understand, to learn, and to advocate. Because we organized, fought for our rights, went to law school and sued people, and because we refused to sit at the back of the bus anymore. Because we demanded our equality.

    Because of all this, that little boy has a supportive, well informed mother, and he can meet his first crush.

    Job well done everyone! Because sometimes we don’t tell ourselves that. This little boy is happy today because of what we did. And all of you played a role and continue to play that role. So we can come here, and disagree sometimes, sometimes very loudly, but remember that everyone here was part of the good that we accomplished.

    You are all terrific.

  • fritzrth

    For me, at that age, it was Clint Walker, but this is much more than just a kid getting to meet someone he feels so deeply for. It’s about a kid at his age being open about the way he feels without fear. What I would have given for that kind of freedom, unadulterated love and acceptance from my family. We have come a long way.

  • S1AMER

    Try to put yourself in this little kid’s little shoes, and you can almost comprehend the heart-bursting joy he must have felt. What a shame we have to grow up, acquire cynicism, and lose all that simple happiness.

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